I: Awakening

(C) Geoff May

When I awoke I was no longer where I thought. Laying down, I could feel the cold, damp ground. Weeds covered me from head to toe. The sound of crickets surrounded me and something crawled over my leg. I jerked up to see, but it was gone. Sitting up, I looked around and could see no signs of civilization. It was dark, but there was enough light from the moon to make out swaying branches of nearby trees. But it didn't look right; something was missing. I realized then, that something was severely wrong.

I readied myself to stand up, but found it hard to move my leg. After examining it I found I had been bitten; apparently not fatal. I ripped a sleeve off my jacket and wrapped it tight above my knee. I stood up, wincing slightly at the pain, to take in more of my surroundings. What I saw sent shivers down my spine. As far as the eye could see, the ground was evenly covereed with a dirty green moss, and what trees there were, all seemed dead or dying. The sky was turning a deep shade of dark red and gave everything an eerie hellish glow.

I felt I had no choice but to walk, and pray there would be someone, or something to help me escape this place which now seemed to be more a knightmare than real.

After what seemed like days of walking, resting, eating and sleeping, the sky began to brighten, only now I wished it hadn't - because the deep red it so recently was, was turning into a bright reddish haze. The ground was now a clear grey color; all vegetation gently withering away. Soon there was nothing around but sand and sky. No life, just desolate land for miles around.

I started to lose hope, believing I wouldn't survive another day without any form of food or liquid, and die a slow, painful death, not knowing where I was or if anyone would find me. My legs got so weak, I collapsed under my own body weight. I felt the air rush by as the ground rose to meet my face; the sand softly comforted the fall. It tasted empty, as if it had no taste at all. I didn't care. At that point, nothing seemed to matter, and I closed my eyes.

I felt a slow breeze by my face and slowly lifted my eyes to see a tall cloud of dust rising from the ground. The air seemed to cool down as the dust started to settle, and I could hear what sounded like rushing water, right under my face.

With my last ounce of strength, I crawled over to the edge of a deep crater, and what my own eyes saw froze me, and rushed the air hard from my lungs...